My big ride - A Kiwified Dutchman heading South from LA

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Normlas, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. garrydymond

    garrydymond Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    532
    Location:
    Mex City
    The World and especially Latin America is a pretty amazing place. Bikers are a great bunch and you have found a lot of them.
    All good stuff but you need to get home and find a cure for Alzheimer's. I know black currant will help but we can’t get it here.
    Normlas likes this.
  2. Meatn'taters

    Meatn'taters Not any more

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    278
    Location:
    Sonoma County, CA
    I followed Esteban's RR - hopped on board here few weeks ago. Great RR! I so appreciate how you have made so many friends along the way and randomly re-connect with them from time to time. Thank you for your consistent efforts to keep us up to date! Keep on keepin' on.
    Normlas likes this.
  3. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    Hey Garry, great to hear from you mate, how's Mexico city treating you ?
    And yeah - I am slowly thinking about wrapping this trip up and have even started looking at fares home, but I'm having so much fun, it's going to be hard. One thing I have decided is that whatever job I end up doing back home, it is not going to be another 9 to 5, so the uni is out and I'm going to think of something else - no idea what yet :)

    And the blackcurrant is for Parkinson's and brain ageing to a lesser degree (it acts as a central MAO inhibitor) not for Alzheimer's! I did tell you that when I was there but I'm guessing you are already in a late stage :imaposer


    Thanks Meatntaters, welcome aboard !
    HiJincs and 95Monster like this.
  4. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    We ended up having a great night out with Thomas B (@Thomas B. ) , Sandra and Mhamed. Starting off at a cafe near our place before heading to a pizza and beer place near the Recoleta Cemetery - the one with the juicy coffins !

    It was good to introduce Mhamed to Thomas and Sandra as he was after lots of info for the next leg of his adventure and they were able to help him out hugely, including sorting out a carnet for his US bike out of Switzerland! Who knew that was possible??

    [​IMG]

    Fun was had once again but it was a crazy hot day and the temp stayed in the low 30's late into the evening. The next day was much cooler and Lisa and I headed out to explore the city some more, heading towards the old centre.

    [​IMG]

    Teatro Colon

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And down the huge 12 lane main drag in Buenos Aires, the Avenu de 9 Julio.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a couple of beautiful old cathedrals

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next day we get on the bike and head for the nearby town/suburb of Tigre, situated near a river delta and we take a boat ride around the area to check it out. The river was very high and there were lots of flooded out houses, parks and land.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a couple of pretty impressive hotels.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That evening we decide that Lisa has to try the real Argentinian Parilla and we find the best rated one on TripAdvisor which turns out to an absolute winner - Santos Manjares, just off the Av. 9 de Julio.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Did someone say medium rare rib eye?

    [​IMG]

    This whole meal for two including wine and beer was only $27 USD - score!
    We highly recommend this place and passed it on to everyone else we know here.

    The next day and we beat the feet around town once again, this time to the North around the Palermo area, including hitting a few parks, the botanical garden, an ecopark and the Museum of Latin American Art.

    Lots of these dog walkers around.

    [​IMG]

    And these rabbitty/guinea piggy/doggy looking creatures??

    [​IMG]

    The Latin American Art Museum was fantastic and included a few famous international artists like this one of Frida painting Frida.

    [​IMG]

    Then of course the trifford with boobs - claro!

    [​IMG]

    As well as an incredible exhibition of the local artist Pablo Suarez - pretty avant garde stuff and very cool / interesting / funny / poignant! Check it out;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the evening we finally get together with the local rider Juan (@Juan Cruz ) who I've been in contact with for ages through ADVrider and we have another fun night out with Lisa, Thomas, Sandra, Mhamed and his new Paraguayan lady friend :)

    [​IMG]

    We also get some great local info on the best places to go for the week or so that Lisa and I will be riding around on the bike. It looks like we are going to head South of the city and do some little farming towns as well as the coastal resort region around Mar del Plata - thanks Juan !

    Today has been a chill and organising day and I've been busy repacking the bike ready to hit the road tomorrow.

    This week in BA has gone super quick but I'm looking forward to getting back on the road, I've also tried to organise a Motoposada through the MAI Argentina group on the coast so Lisa can have a taste of that experience too - fingers crossed it's a good one!
    fasttortoise, SLUGGO, NSFW and 11 others like this.
  5. yakmike

    yakmike Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Glen Arm, MD
    Just binge read your RR and honestly your perspective, amazing pix, great video's are quite inspiring. Thanks for all of your effort on sharing this journey with us. I know it is s "crap-load" of work.
    Normlas likes this.
  6. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    That's a hell of a binge read! Glad you like my journey so far and welcome aboard. Big update coming soon.... wifi is terrible so maybe not that soon.....
    MrKiwi likes this.
  7. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    As we're packing up and getting ready to leave in the morning we stumble across a couple of problems...... The plan was to spend a week in BA, then a week on the road and then a couple more nights in BA before Lisa flies home. I'd asked the AirBnB host to reserve a couple more nights for us for that last stay which they confirmed over 2 months ago, and also that we were welcome to leave some bags there whilst we were away on the bike. When I go to check where to leave the bags they give me a puzzled look and finally explain that they screwed up the booking and never reserved those nights for us and they are now booked by someone else, and also that we can leave some bags but it'll cost us 300 pesos a day - so 2100 pesos or about $55 USD for the week which is crazy expensive. I paid less for a whole week in a hotel in Cafayate!! But we are packed and ready to go and I figure I will deal with it remotely, we leave the bags with them and hit the road, aiming for the lakeside town of Chascomus.... And then there were two!

    It's not very comfortable for either of us as I've lost my back rest and Lisa has to sit on a pillow on the rear baggage rack so we are going to try and not ride more than 2 or 3 hours a day and make regular stops. We leave the city without further issues and hit the open road making good time and after a few stops for coffee and arse/back breaks (the YPF Service Station coffee and medialunas remain awesome throughout Argentina) we get to Chascomus by early afternoon and it's sweltering at over 30 degrees. Cruising down the lakefront we spot a couple of hotels and play a very easy "hotel game" finding a spot right on the lake on the second play and for a very reasonable 1000 pesos the night including breakfast. We settle in and go for a walk around town and as usual for this part of the world, most things are closed between 1pm and 6 or 7 pm, but we have a nice explore anyway and find some nice lunch and ice-creams - the many ice-cream shops seem exempts from the afternoon closures....

    [​IMG]

    Then we return to the lakefront and enjoy a very pretty sunset....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Back into town in the evening and we satisfy one of Lisa's greatest passions - going out for dinner at a nice restaurant and end up having a lovely evening with a great meal and a few drinkies, as you do....

    [​IMG]

    The next day and we decide that this is such a nice spot and we are unlikely to find one better than this one on the trip we've roughly planned that we'll stay another day. Starting with a small tour of the historical sights including this segregated black church from the 1800's where the black slaves and workers were allowed to worship in those times - they weren't allowed into the regular church. An interesting little church with a dirt floor and some real African flavour.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The other two museums in town are shut so we get some ingredients for lunch and enjoy that at the lake side, have a chillaxed afternoon siesta and get up in time to enjoy another fabulous sunset over the lake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The next day and we are up early to try and avoid the heat and because we have a big 4 hour ride planned to the town of Tandil. The riding is not that interesting being mainly flat agricultural land with miles upon miles of sunflowers, peanut, potato and corn fields. It finally starts to get a little hilly and interesting as we get closer to Tandil. One of our back/arse stops was at this cafe where the lunchtime parilla was just being prepared - pretty much the whole cow was getting cooked up!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As we roll into Tandil we stop in the main square for a huge pork sandwich late lunch before meeting our hosts at the AirBnB we had arranged on the outskirts of this picturesque little town in the hills, famous for salami and cheese making. We settle in and although they don't have a cat, they have the next best thing - a puppy!

    [​IMG]

    And we enjoy a nice explore of the town in the evening and have a few nice drinks and snacks at an outdoor cafe as neither of us are in the mood for dinner after our huge lunch.

    [​IMG]

    The next day we start making a loop towards the Atlantic coast aiming to get to the beach side town of Necochea where I have arranged a Motoposada for us via the WhatsApp group MAI Argentina. Unfortunately as we get close to the town the guy I am corresponding with Vasko goes offline and I can't get a hold of him, we turn up at the clubhouse of the Moteros Unidos Necochea but it's all locked up and no one around... bummer !

    So we head down to the beachfront and do the sensible thing - find a shady ice-cream shop and settle down to wait for Vasko to get back to me, an hour or two go by and still no word so I suggest we give up on them and play the hotel game, it's a very touristy town so it shouldn't be hard. It is crazy hot so I leave Lisa with the bike and riding gear and I go for a walk-about in search of a home for the night, it wasn't an easy hotel game but I find a couple of OK options after about 5 or 6 plays. We end up settling in the "Moderno Hotel" which was anything but moderno, however it is close to the beach and the centre of town and has parking and a pool!

    We try the pool whilst waiting for the evening to cool before going for a walk down the beach, which was nice but we weren't exactly alone there....

    [​IMG]

    As we wander down the beach we see some lightning and dark clouds in the distance but it looks to be heading away from us, and so we settle into a little beer cafe on the beach for a cold one and to watch the light change over the expanse of the beach. Within 10 minutes we feel the odd drop of rain and seek some shelter under the awning of the beer cafe, 5 minutes later and a torrential summer storm streaks across the beach with winds gusting over 80km/hr blasting sand and horizontal rain at us. The beach empties in minutes and the kind cafe owners suggest we just pop into the cafe kitchen to wait it out - what could possibly go wrong?

    Lightning and thunder crash down around us and the cafe's tables and chairs go flying, we get into the kitchen and the walls start to cave in..... the wind is furious and the driving rain is squirting through every little hole and crack in the wall, all hands are on deck to hold the walls up and the building together at this stage !!

    [​IMG]

    Glasses, plates and cutlery go flying as panels come loose and the place is in complete chaos, the owners are running around unplugging everything and trying to cover what they can from the sand blasting and driving rain - it was a hell of a scene!

    [​IMG]

    We help what we can but basically just wait for things to calm down, as the storm slowly passes we have time to chat to the owners, they are super nice people and it turns out they are bikers :) and they know Vasko! Claro !

    We have a good time chewing the fat over a few beers and when the rain finally stops about 2 hours later me and Lisa head back to our hotel stopping for a take-out pizza and a couple of bottles to take back to our room.

    I also finally manage to get a hold of Vasko who had run out of data and wifi and we are totally welcome to swing by the next day for a visit or to stay in the clubhouse overnight if we like.

    We arrange a late checkout of our hotel the next morning and decide to stay another day and meet these local bikers, I'm keen to give Lisa a taste of the Motoposada experience and although this one didn't start out too well, I have a good feeling that all will come good. So we head back to the club house.

    [​IMG]

    Are greeted by Vasko and some of his riding buddies who put on a late breakfast for us before leaving us the keys and the entire clubhouse whilst promising to be back at some time in the evening with pizza. And of course I have to add my mark to the local rider hall of fame.

    [​IMG]

    The placed is pretty big and has a double bedroom for us, shower, toilet, kitchen, outside BBQ area and a big central club room - perfect!

    Lisa and I head into the central city for a little explore and some very good coffee and lunch before a little siesta. We also pick up a few drinks for the evening which we really didn't have to do as it turned out....

    At about 7pm people started appearing and true to my experience of the Motoposada - an excellent evening was had.

    Meet Vasko in his new jacket !

    [​IMG]

    They had loads of beers and wine in stock and Felipe prepared us more awesome pizzas than we could eat - a great night was had and we again met nothing but awesome people. Felipe even invited his niece Flor for us to meet who is a professional English translator, just to make things easier.

    Meet the crew!

    [​IMG]

    We all eat, chat and drink late into the night and they give us their club decals for our jackets, some stickers and an Argentinian flag! An awesome time was had by all.

    This morning we were up reasonably early and the club president picked me up to take me back to his place where my bike was securely parked in his garage - again, awesome people! I head back to the clubhouse, we pack up, clean up, lock up and throw the keys through the window before we head off up the coast aiming for the seaside town of Pinamar where I've booked us an AirBnB for the night.

    It's stupid hot today and at a coffee stop we see the news saying it is over 41 degrees in BA today! It's a nice ride through Mar de Plata but the temperature is a killer, we get to out AirBnB in the early afternoon, settle in and finally have some wifi and time to get an update done.

    And the other news...... I've booked my flight home! It took great pains to do but I finally made the call and will fly out of Santiago in the middle of May - giving me three more months to explore Brazil before heading back to Santiago and selling the bike..... hasn't really sunk in yet......

    So if anyone is in the market for an awesome KLR in a few months time, one that has truly been battle tested and come out the other end - drop me a line :)

    Tomorrow we aim to head further back towards the direction of BA although we're not sure where yet and want to be back in BA on Friday. We've already found and booked another AirBnB there and I'll fight the fight to get our bags back when I get there.

    That's us for now, all is good in Northern Argentina!
  8. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    Redondo Beach CA
    Hey Arjan: This is your old buddy from Redondo Beach. Remember? You were such a noob back then (just kidding) and now look at you. Getting interviewed by ADV. You've had quite an adventure and I've been following along the whole way. Just saw your post that you have bought a ticket home from Santiago. Just wanted to make sure you know that the northern city of Arica in Chile is a "tax-free zone" and I think you can sell the bike there legally. I don't know all the details but since you're going to Brazil it's almost on the way to Santiago and you should check it out. The down side is a very long bus ride bake to Santiago but you'll get a premium for the bike. Keep on riding. John
    Normlas likes this.
  9. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    Hiya John,
    thanks for that and glad you're still following along - seems like a lifetime ago that we were sitting at your place looking over maps of Baja !

    As for the tax free zones in Chile - it turns out that they are not that helpful. It means I can sell to a Chilean person there but the bike remains restricted and they must register the bike in the tax free zone and can't leave that zone for more than 6 months at a time, this means that they pay very poorly for foreign bikes in those zones.

    The best way seems to be to sell the bike to a someone who has (or can use) an address in the USA, then all the change of ownership happens in the USA and in Chile we only have to go to the aduana with the new ownership papers and change the TVIP to the new owners name (bike import permit).

    This way it's 100% legal and the new owner can cross all borders without issues, from what I have learned all other methods are dodgy and/or limited in some way.

    If anyone has better or different info than this I would be happy to hear it.
    HiJincs likes this.
  10. Normlas

    Normlas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    493
    Location:
    New Zealand - JAFA
    Holy sh1t, I've done it, my girl is officially up for sale !

    Not sure that I'm emotionally ready for this...... :2cry

    Link to add on ADV

    Link to add on Horizons Unlimited
    lifetravelled and MrMac like this.